2019 Tax Filing Season for Individual Filers Opens on January 27 2020

On January 6, 2020, the IRS announced that the 2019 tax filing season will commence on Monday, January 27, 2020. In other words, on that date, the IRS will begin accepting and processing the 2019 tax returns.

This year the deadline for the filing of the 2019 tax returns as well as any payment of taxes owed is April 15, 2020. The IRS expects that individual taxpayers will file more than 150 million tax returns for the tax year 2019; the vast majority of them should come in prior to the April deadline.

This is not the case, however, for US taxpayers with exposure to international tax requirements. Usually, most of these taxpayers file extensions in order to properly prepare all of the required international information returns by the extended deadline in October. Often, such tax filing extensions are necessary in order to obtain the necessary information from foreign countries which may operate on a fiscal year rather than a calendar year. However, even in such cases, taxpayers are expected to pay at least 90% of the tax owed by April 15, 2020.

Moreover, it should be mentioned that taxpayers who reside overseas receive an automatic tax filing extension. For such taxpayers, the 2019 tax filing season will commence also on January 27, 2020, but their tax return filing deadline is June 15, 2020.

The IRS is certain that it will be ready for the 2019 tax filing season by January 27, 2020. In other words, the agency believes that it will not only be able to process the returns smoothly, but all of its security systems will be operational by that date. The IRS also believes that, by January 27, 2020, it will address the potential impact of recent tax legislation on 2019 tax returns

The IRS encourages everyone to e-file their 2019 tax returns. This, however, is not always possible for US taxpayers who have to file international information returns due to software limitations.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With Your 2019 Tax Filing Season If You Have To Comply With US International Tax Filing Requirements

Sherayzen Law Office helps US and foreign persons with their US international tax compliance requirements, including the filing of all required international information returns such as FBAR, FATCA Form 8938, Form 3520, Form 3520-A, Form 5471, Form 8865, Form 8858, Form 926 and other relevant forms.

With respect to taxpayers who have not been in full compliance with these requirements in the past, Sherayzen Law Office helps you to choose, prepare and file the relevant offshore voluntary disclosure option, including Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures, Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures, Delinquent International Information Return Submission Procedures, Delinquent FBAR Submission Procedures, Reasonable Cause Noisy Disclosures and Modified IRS Traditional Voluntary Disclosures.

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Treatment of Business Profits under the Canada-US Tax Treaty

In this article we will briefly examine the treatment of the business profits of a resident of a contracting State under the Canada-US Income Tax Convention, and the important definition of a “permanent establishment” for purposes of determining the potential taxability of income of such profits.

This article is intended to provide informative material for US taxpayers involved with US-Canada cross-border businesses, and is not intended to constitute tax or legal advice. Please contact the experienced international tax law firm of Sherayzen Law Office, Ltd. for issues involving the Canada-US Tax Treaty.

Business Profits under the Canada-US  Tax Treaty

Under the US-Canada Tax Treaty, the business profits of a resident of a Contracting State, “[S]hall be taxable only in that State unless the resident carries on business in the other Contracting State through a permanent establishment situated therein.” (See the definition of “permanent establishment” in next section). Hence, if the resident of a Contracting State carries on, or has carried on, such business, then the business profits of the resident may be taxed in the other State but only to the extent attributable to the permanent establishment.

In determining the business profits of a permanent establishment, certain deductions incurred for the purposes of the permanent establishment, such as executive and general administrative expenses (whether in the State in which the permanent establishment is situated, or elsewhere) may be allowed. However, under the Canada-US Tax Treaty, a Contracting State is not required to allow the deduction of an expenditure which is not generally deductible under the taxation laws of such State.

Additionally, the Canada-US Tax Treaty states that “no business profits shall be attributed to a permanent establishment of a resident of a Contracting State by reason of the use thereof for either the mere purchase of goods or merchandise or the mere provision of executive, managerial or administrative facilities or services for such resident.”

Definition of Permanent Establishment under the Canada-US Tax Treaty

Article V of the Canada-US Tax Treaty provided the original definition of the term “permanent establishment”. As stated in the Canada-US Tax Treaty, the term is defined to mean “[a] fixed place of business through which the business of a resident of a Contracting State is wholly or partly carried on.” Under the Canada-US Tax Treaty, permanent establishment includes: (a) a place of management; (b) a branch; (c) an office; (d) a factory; (e) a workshop; and (f) a mine, an oil or gas well, a quarry or any other place of extraction of natural resources. Furthermore, a building site or construction or installation project constitutes a permanent establishment provided that it lasts more than 12 months. In addition, “A person acting in a Contracting State on behalf of a resident of the other Contracting State other than an agent of an independent status to whom paragraph 7 applies shall be deemed to be a permanent establishment in the first-mentioned State if such person has, and habitually exercises in that State, an authority to conclude contracts in the name of the resident.” (Please see Article V of the Canada-US Tax Treaty for more specific examples of a “permanent establishment”).

The Fifth Protocol (the “Protocol”) to the Canada-US Tax Treaty, signed in September of 2007 and entered into force on December 15, 2008, further modified the definition of permanent establishment. Under the Protocol (Article 3, Paragraph 2), an “enterprise of a Contracting State” that provides services in the other Contracting State may be deemed to have a permanent establishment if it meets at least one of the following conditions:

“(a) Those services are performed in that other State by an individual who is present in that other State for a period or periods aggregating 183 days or more in any twelve-month period, and, during that period or periods, more than 50 percent of the gross active business revenues of the enterprise consists of income derived from the services performed in that other State by that individual; or (b) The services are provided in that other State for an aggregate of 183 days or more in any twelve-month period with respect to the same or connected project for customers who are either residents of that other State or who maintain a permanent establishment in that other State and the services are provided in respect of that permanent establishment.”

Further, the diplomatic notes of Annex B to the Protocol added that, “[t]he principles of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines shall apply for purposes of determining the profits attributable to a permanent establishment”.

Elimination of Article XIV of the Canada-US Tax Treaty

The Protocal had further important impact with respect to services defined as “Independent Personal Services” – Article 9 of the Protocol eliminated Article XIV of the Canada-US Tax Treaty (“Independent Personal Services”). Under previous Article XIV a resident of a Contracting State performing independent personal services in the other Contracting State could be taxed if such “individual has or had a fixed base regularly available to him in that other State but only to the extent that the income is attributable to the fixed base.” The business profits rules explained above and the various definitions of permanent establishment now determine the taxability of such cases.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for legal help with respect to Canada-US Tax Treaty

Treaty interpretation, international tax resolution and international tax planning may involve very complex issues, and it is advisable to seek the assistance of an international tax attorney in this area. This is why it is advised that you contact Sherayzen Law Office to secure professional legal help involving issues related to Canada-US Tax Treaty.

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